The design team from Wimberly Interiors have created the interiors for the breath-taking The Abu Dhabi EDITION, which is now open. The first of the luxury EDITION hotels to open in the Middle East; the 198-room hotel and 57 exclusive residences are situated in a prime position on the Al Bateen peninsula with stunning views of the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf and adjacent marina. Wimberly Interiors’ design vision was to create a distinctive, contemporary environment while respecting and celebrating the lifestyle and traditions of the Emirati culture.
Working in collaboration with Ian Schrager Company, the design narrative was drawn from local elements and reflected in the building’s fabric. Upon arrival, guests are greeted by lush landscaping, meandering walkways and subtle lighting leading into the hotel’s lobby, which features a five-storey atrium and a sinuous balustrade that echoes the movement of water. The focal point of the lobby is a suspended large-scale, kinetic installation by world-renowned art collective, Studio Drift, which pays tribute to evolution and the ultimate human desire to be able to fly. A brass-clad reception desk is flanked by palm trees, and a gold leaf feature wall is gently washed with a delicate light to create a sense of welcome and warmth for guests.
The hotel has an abundance of public areas, each with an individual but intimate feel. Distinct seating areas in the lobby are separated by bronze screens, inspired by traditional Emirati architecture, allowing guests to lounge in the serene space. Nearby, the library bar features luxury velvet drapes providing an intimacy to the space. The ballroom boasts gentle coffered ceilings, crystal chandeliers and walls clad in elegant bevelled leather panels with bronze trim inserts.
Heightened dining experiences include The Oak Room, a traditional English Oak panelled restaurant, which utilises a rhythmic language of traditional plaster moulded ceilings and timber wall panelling, allowing the British menu to take centre stage. Built-in velvet sofas, dark green velvet drapes, and a monolithic Nero Marquina marble bar with dark chocolate leather stools complete the space. The Market, a contemporary version of a typical Middle Eastern Bazaar, is dominated by classic marble flooring and Calacatta marble counters, with statement floor-to-ceiling shelving, dressed with fragrant pots of herbs and copper accessories. Vertical folding timber shutters, allow light from the terrace and marina to filter through, illuminating the naturally finished Thonet Bentwood chairs, light oak timber tables, and potted palms. The Alba Terrace, a coastal Mediterranean style restaurant, is designed to encourage guests to linger, featuring light fresh materials, such as terrazzo flooring and light marble table tops, a crisp colour palette of neutral tones and a large brass clad Aperitivo Bar with feature Palisandro Bluestone.
The guest rooms and suites benefit from impressive Marina views, drawing inspiration from local basket weaving, a neutral colour palette, and grey oak timber flooring, is paired with pale khaki rugs, elegant off-white marble bathroom flooring and drapery, and beautiful timber panelling throughout. Black and white shots of sinuous sand dunes by twentieth-century photographer Brett Weston feature in each room, marrying the hotel’s surrounding landscapes and the EDITION’s sophisticated aesthetic.
EDITION Spa at The Abu Dhabi EDITION, opening in late 2018, will be one of the most unique design elements in the hotel. Bespoke Arabic inspired bronze metal screens will frame the hallway and entrance. A central relaxation lounge with luxurious lounge seating and billowy sheer drapes are designed to diffuse the light coming through the windows, which combined with accent lighting on walls and shelving, give the space a subtle glow. Light oak flooring and grey timber wall finishes create a fresh and inviting environment, with customised spa products available to sample on feature stone plinths, which appear to be ‘floating’ in the space.
Wimberly Interiors have imbued EDITION’s iconic style, the country’s local heritage and native, natural materials throughout this waterfront oasis, which is set to become the new jewel of Abu Dhabi.